I'm an East Asian guy living in East Asia (multiple countries), and sometimes when I'm with a white guy, lets' call him Bob, for example in a cafe, canteen, or even on the street, a few girls approach us. In most cases the girls are friends or acquaintances of Bob, but sometimes they are just strangers.

When the girls approach us, they start to talk with Bob, and I'm fine with just waiting for a minute. But in many cases, they want to talk longer, and I generally get bored so I go away alone or use my phone. But this does not always work, since often I can't go straight away, like sitting at a cafe or waiting for the next class in my classroom.

Now, the problem is the girls are uninterested in me and they only want to talk with Bob. Usually when both of us had the first eye contact, the girls on purpose look away, as if they saw nothing. I'm totally fine with the girls not being interested in me so I use my phone while they are there.

What annoys me most is that Bob starts to force me into the conversation or introduce me to the girls, like:

This is (insert my name), my friend/classmate/neighbor!

But I know the girls aren't interested in me, and so it is very uncomfortable to be introduced in such a way, in which case the girls usually grudgingly nod a little, or smile bitterly.

Another case was when Bob abruptly asks my opinion about the topic, like:

How about you? What do you think?

When I respond, the girls treat it as if I issued nothing, and all of them return back to their own conversation. These situations are very uncomfortable for me, and I rather want to be alone, without being disrupted, but Bob constantly wants to force me into the conversation.

What I find even more annoying is that Bob refers to something I have in common with one of the girls:

(To the girl) Do you also use it?/Are you also that? Then it's the same as him! (pointing to me...)

At least I'm sure he does not have any ill intention nor desires to mock me, and instead he just wants to include me as he likely thinks I feel isolated.

How to tell Bob I don't like to join the conversation as I think the girls are not interested in me? How can I get Bob not to mention me or force me into the conversation?

Preferably I want to tell him in advance, before it happens again.

  • 2
    The title is very broad and doesn't match with the question. Can you edit it, so it reflects the actual question in the body better?
    – kscherrer
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 7:57
  • 2
    Are there any possible reasons (that you know of) that causes Bob's friends / acquaintances to not be interested in you at all? I mean under normal circumstances if I approach a friend / acquaintance (say for instance Chris) who is accompanied by another friend, I wouldn't go so far as to totally disregard his friend... And if Chris includes his accompanying friend into the conversation I'd also be more than happy for his friend to participate. Commented May 30, 2018 at 9:30
  • 8
    But I know the girls aren't interested in me - can you clarify how you came by this knowledge?
    – user6109
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 13:52
  • 6
    What's wrong with just telling your friend this?
    – sphennings
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 13:54

2 Answers 2

  1. You are actively avoiding those girls.

  2. Your friend tries to include you in conversation.

  3. It has nothing to do with him being white. It has everything to do with you feeling uncomfortable talking to them.

Answer to yourself these few questions question: Why are you avoiding them? Is it to do with your self esteem? Can you change that? Can you become interested in meeting new people?

Showing interest and maintaining eye contact is huge. It will let people know that you are interested in knowing them. So cellphone is the worst you can do in this case.

If you are feeling uncomfortable for what ever reason assuming "they don't want to know you", "you don't look good" etc:

  1. Start with addressing the issue first - if it's the body you are uncomfortable - go to gym, if it's clothing, get your clothing in style - fix the thing you are not sure about.

  2. Stop trying to think for them. If they don't like you, so long, there are others who will like you for who you are. You are not there to make them like you. BUT, if you show interest in them no matter who they are, willing to listen to them, greet them, talk to them and maintain confident eye contact, you drive the party - you are the one in charge in this situation. They will naturally become interested in you.

And finally, bringing this up to your friend will not really accomplish much. He gives you an amazing opportunity to address the social fear you have and friends like this are a gem you would have to search for a long time to find. Use this moment to truly answer yourself what you are running from and improve on your social skills.


If you want to prevent such situations from happening in the future,

then perhaps consider hanging out with more than one guy at a time. It is easy to ignore one person in a group conversation but its more difficult to ignore several people, and if so, the 'ignored' ones can always make conversation among themselves. And if still, in a group of a few asian guys the one white guy get's all the attention from girls, they are probably not worth your time anyway.

If you want to be more proactive, you can steer the conversation with Bob towards socialising and ask him what is his favourite way to meet new people or spend time with friends and acquaintances. Note his answer and say something like:

I prefer to meet new people in one-on-one conversations, that way I get to know them better. If it's a larger group of people talking, I'm okay with just keeping to myself as being in the centre of attention can be quite overbearing.

Now Bob just learned something you want them to know as part of a naturally flowing conversation. This way, you don't have to 'tell him in advance' which would be awkward indeed. Now when any women join the conversation, Bob is already aware of how you prefer to socialise.

If the awkward moment already took place you can try to say something like:

I find it a bit awkward when you try to bring me into a conversation with your friends/ random girls who are clearly interested in talking to you more than me. It is probably because you look more exotic than me in this country, which is perfectly normal, but I would prefer if you just let us make small talk at our own pace.

Make sure to tell him you don't have a personal problem with him or his ethnicity, because otherwise you will come across racist. Make it clear you understand how a more foreign looking person can draw attention towards them and away from the locals.

If you feel comfortable enough with Bob you might try something like:

If the girls don't seem to be interested in talking to me then just move on instead of bringing the attention back to me. It just keeps highlighting the awkwardness.

Or even:

I find it upsetting/ humiliating when you try to be my wingman even when I didn't ask you for it.

You need to be prepared that Bob had no clue how bad he made you feel. Maybe you tried to drop subtle hints but grew more frustrated when he just didn't get them? Well the simplest answer is that he was probably oblivious to such hints. The truth is, many people find it hard to pick up on subtleties. You say this only happens with white guys. You should therefore consider that Bob was raised in a culture where people are very straight forward about what they think and feel. So when you address the issue with him be clear and straight forward about it too. Most people won't hold it against you and will understand everyone has a different comfort zone.

If after doing all of that, Bob continues on with his behaviour, then he is simply being disrespectful and inconsiderate, and you can't do much more about that.

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